Steamrollered

There is a saying in horseracing that a good big one always beats a good small one. It felt rather like that on Tuesday night. Wigan looked like a very good side, both in terms of physicality and technique. In contrast to Saturday when Southend had a fair amount of the former , but luckily not much of the latter.

I’m not really sure why Karl felt the need to apologise to supporters unless he felt that the rain and the train service back to London Bridge were his fault. We got beaten by a better side and to be fair it could have been a bigger score. I guess the lack of a Plan B and the players to implement a Plan B is a concern.

It was obvious to all of us that skilful as they are , JFC, Fosu and Billy Clarke were getting outmuscled whilst Ricky Holmes was being assaulted and none of them were getting close enough to big Josh for him to retain meaningful possession. Personally, I would have brought Konza on earlier to compete with more size and aggression in the middle where we just looked lightweight. Joe Dodoo appears to have been to the Izale McLeod school of first touch and ball control , but we can only hope that he is just ring rusty.

Anyway, there will be better days and weaker teams and generally it has been a very good start. The overall play has been refreshing and good to watch and as a result the crowd has started to find its voice again.

Let us trust that Gillingham are no Wigan …………….

Dreadful Deadline Day

I think Karl Robinson is a good manager and I think that he knows how to get us promoted and he knows how to communicate effectively with the fans.

I think that our owner and his ventriloquist’s dummy CEO are not good managers, do not care if we get promoted or not and have absolutely no idea how to communicate with anyone.

Put simply, in the event that Josh Magennis gets injured, our only striker option will  be a loan signing who has scored 5 goals in the last 2 years in the Scottish Leagues. At the same time on deadline day, we have let the experienced League 1 goal scorer , Lee Novak go , the excellent and experienced central midfielder, Andrew Crofts go ,the very promising Regan Charles Cook go plus Brandon Hanlon

I guess the budget is running Charlton and the inability to shift Naby Saar has meant that there is no room for manoeuvre on Katrien’s spreadsheet ( that’s assuming she’s not holding it upside down )

We have made a promising start to the season and played some lovely stuff and it will be great if it continues. If we are incredibly lucky all our key players will stay fit but the squad is characteristically thin on numbers (as in all the Meire/ Duchatelet years ) and the owner and CEO just made Karl’s task a whole lot harder.

Mission Impossible at Charlton

I really want to be positive about Charlton’s chances of promotion this year and I have deliberately minimised blogging in the hope that over the close season and August, a promotion winning team would be created. The additions of Marshall, Reeves and Da Silva plus the recovery of Kashi and retention of Holmes are all good signs. However, Karl Robinson’s latest admission that it looks like we won’t get another striker on board before the window shuts confirms that we will be stuck in mid table League 1 again this season.

You can’t get promoted out of this league – or indeed any other league without a relatively prolific goalscorer whether its Will Grigg when Karl’s MK got promoted or Bradley Wright Phillips when we got promoted. Jason Pearce said as much after the Plymouth game. Whilst Karl’s style of football is easy on the eye, the big worry will be that whilst we are making our 100th tippy tappy pass outside their penalty area and have 70% of the ball, it will go up the other end and from a long ball, corner or free kick, some big monster of a centre half or centre forward will head it in.

Generally the squad is too thin as usual and any significant injury to Magennis, Holmes or Pearce will see us falling down the table and Roland reaching for Karl’s P45.

The division is much stronger this season with a number of League 1 teams having spent big. Hold on tight, I hope I’m wrong, but I think its going to be another rocky ride.

We can all breathe easier now that Katrien has been re-elected to the FA council – obviously her huge success in halving revenues at Charlton was a key factor in her re-election rather than the fact that she is a woman and they needed one to make up the numbers. Prepare yourselves for Sex on the Wembley pitch adverts and outbursts that somehow the fans see themselves as having some weird sense of ownership in their National Team.

 

 

Running CAFC to the budget

”Apparently in common with every other transfer window since the idiot Belgians arrived we are working hard to identify the new players who will bring success next season.  Well Karl we can tell you from bitter experience that it never happens. All of your predecessors said the same thing and got short changed. The promised players never quite arrive for a whole variety of reasons –.We always run out of time or money or both and are left woefully short”

That’s what I said in my blog last December as the January window opened. We are now 2 weeks away from the opening fixture and currently lack ( at minimum) a Goalkeeper and a Striker who is going to score some goals. You only need to compare our League One winning side strike force of Wright Phillips and Kermogant to the current strikers and you know that we are desperately short of firepower. Despite the club’s best efforts to ship out Sarr and Watt, they are still here and lets hope they can fulfil their promise but their continuing presence means that the problem is that Katrien has hit the budget for staff wages and so there is no further room.

Katrien undoubtedly runs the club to an agreed budget with Roland. Annual losses sit at around £6-7m so in order to keep the house vaguely in order a decent player gets sold – this year at some point, its likely to be Konsa for £3-4m.

The obvious problem with this strategy is that we are stuck in League One Groundhog Day – but Roland apparently isn’t that bothered about losing a couple of million a year or indeed whether we get promoted or not, but he doesn’t want to lose £5-7m. You can understand his position – but then why bother buying a football club ……………..and so it goes on and on. We seem to be stuck in this loop until he departs.

Finally – Well Done Charlton

After 3 years of driving customers away with stupid statements and half baked ideas , someone at Charlton has suddenly realised that they are important and the box of goodies which arrived with my season tickets today is an excellent innovation.

Well done to whoever came up with that idea- it is certainly a great shame that there will be fewer season tickets going out than ever since we moved back to The Valley 25 years ago , but hey these are steps in the right direction. There have been big improvements to the website and the newly launched Valley Pass which I have subscribed to. We kept Holmes and Da Silva has arrived, without getting carried away (not sure who is going to score the goals) there are grounds for some optimism.

If you are still boycotting , please reconsider and come again – its your club, not the clueless Belgians and we need you, your passion and support. They will be gone in the next 12 months or so and we can look back on them as a bad dream.

To quote a famous chef turned football Chairwoman ‘ Come on where are you , where are you – lets be aving you ‘

 

Katrien Meire is the abject failure at Charlton

The revelation that football is just a sideline for Roland in which he takes little interest should come as no surprise to any Charlton supporters

The biggest scandal at Charlton is that he has allowed Katrien Meire to systematically destroy the football club, whilst he just signs the cheques and allows her to stumble from one shocking decision and disaster to another. From the moment that she allowed Yann Kermogant to leave without telling the owner that his departure would be a disastrous outcome to the procession of under performing players on ridiculously long contracts that continues to render the club impotent in the transfer market , she has proved herself to be a serial incompetent.

Where I am slightly in disagreement with CARD is that to my mind the focus of the fan demonstrations should be against Ms Meire who is actually running the club rather than Roland who just signs the cheques. If he had been sensible and appointed a CEO who actually knew what a football looked like and had experience of running a business ( any business !!! ) we wouldn’t be in the position we currently face.

In any other normal business that haemorrhages customers at the rate of 40-50% a year, the CEO would have been fired or resigned. Ms Meire clearly has no honour and feels no shame about her abject performance otherwise she would have done the right thing by now and Roland could have hired a competent CEO.

Todays revelation that the club looked at redeveloping the car park typifies the rank stupidity of those running the club. At some point , the club will be sold – would you like to be the person who tells the new owners that there isn’t a big enough car park for a Premier League club because Katrien thought it would be a good idea to put 2  or 3 bedroom flats in the car park – you couldn’t make this stuff up. Even the expenditure on the surveyors report is yet another example of a shocking waste of money, when it’s obviously a stupid idea.

In order for Charlton Athletic to move forward in any meaningful way, the departure of Ms Meire and the appointment of an experienced and competent CEO in her place ought to be the principal objective of any continuing campaigns next season. Imagine for a moment where we would be today if Peter Varney had been the CEO for the past 4 years – very possibly where Huddersfield are now.

 

 

I love Charlton Athletic

What a lovely day, what great entertainment on and off the pitch. We played pretty well , scored 3 good goals and could have had 6 or 7. Swindon were woeful , but hey , who cares. The ballons, the protests, the ticker tape season tickets , the pitch invasion were all great.

There is a big temptation to give up my season tickets next year as many of my mates have and thousands of others have done, but I can’t and won’t be driven out by the ownership.

Im not going to criticise anyone who is boycotting but I honestly think it is the wrong choice. It is much more powerful to hear 10,000 people singing ‘ Get out of our Club’ and cheering when we score or play well than it is when people just don’t turn up.

Its not just me, if you listen or read the comments of Chris Powell or Steve Brown, they urge us to keep going and supporting the team. We will be rid of these incompetents eventually.

I’d rather have 20,000 people reminding Katrien that she is a compulsive liar and making her attendance a complete misery than 5,000 people because otherwise she has been successful in her mission to destroy the club.

I love Charlton Athletic football club , it represents my youth, my roots, it is part of what defines me. We need to keep fighting and we need to do it inside The Valley, not from afar.